BooknewsLinnett (investigative journalist) and Loiederman (television writer) tell the story of how two young crew members took over a tramp steamer carrying napalm to Thailand for the war in Vietnam, thus carrying out the first armed mutiny aboard an American ship in 150 years. Grounded in sworn testimony and interviews with the crew and investigators who were first to arrive on the scene, the account chronicles the mutiny and the ensuing investigations and trials, as well as the complex psychological factors involved. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
- Naval Institute Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.36(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.98(d)
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Eagle Mutiny based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Thirty-one years ago was way, way back! Another century. Yet Linnett and Loiederman recreate the intensity and frenzy of that era and make it wholly coherent and contemporary. This fresh, comprehensive, recall reveals a turbulent Vietnam era that is both exotic and accessible. A fantastic story--incredibly true though it reads like a thriller movie--this mutiny not only happened as described, but becomes a metaphor for the political and social transition that color an entire generation. And like Melville, Conrad, London, Nordhoff and Hall, Wauk and O'Brian, Linnett and Loiederman make of their ship, and it's mutiny, a floating cosmos, where the rules are both observed and bent. Where too, morality is debated and diverted. We are given two young men coming of age in the late sixties. While both wind up as merchant seamen, Clyde slips in from a life of adventure and twilight while Alvin pushes on from the mainstream. The authors bring those hyperbolic days with their hyperbolic people alive in the same way Clyde and Alvin found them vivid and attractive. And the Columbia Eagle becomes their crucible as the world and the war plunges forward. The powers play the grand game and, in isolation, the mutineers carry out their plot, ignorant and unaffected. When they finally emerge with the ship and its cargo of napalm in Cambodian waters, players are about to change sides on them and their act of protest is swallowed up in the upheaval, the coup that deposed Sihanouk three days after their arrival. What follows is a tale of increasing strangeness. The relationship between Alvin and Clyde deteriorates. Their capture, incarceration, escape, disappearance and reappearance are all traced. The inscrutability of both U. S. and Cambodian officials concerning the mutineers' fates, gives rise to conjecture. We're also given an overview of the huge cast of anti-war journalists, Thai and Cambodian peasants, soldiers of fortune, scholars and movement people who cross paths with the mutineers. These were dizzying, heady times, and the authors bring them to life with persuasive, exhaustive research. At last, we are left with a portrait of an age, a time and a set of personalities shaped by that time. Way back, when passions were enough.
Few Americans today are aware of the handful of Americans who for one reason or another 'collaborated with the enemy' during the war in Indochina. Co-authors Linnett and Loiederman show remarkable research and investigative skills in detailing the 1970 mutiny aboard the munitions transport ship Columbia Eagle. One of the mutineers survives today. The other mutineer joined in an 'escape' with a fellow inmate, a US Army deserter from Thailand, and died at the hands of the Cambodian communist revolution during the year following the mutiny. Extensive interviews with the families of these three young men help us understand why the boys acted as they did. The accounts of life aboard the ship, the mutiny, and the immediate aftermath are told with the aid of a wealth of documentary evidence and the assistance of the surviving mutineer. A recent field investigation by the authors in Cambodia helps fill in the missing pieces. In a strange twist, the fate of the mutineers has become entangled with that of Sean Flynn and Dana Stone, the most famous of the war correspondents who disappeared in Cambodia.